Pickerington Times-Sun

Pickerington Community Theatre

Invisible rabbit to take stage with local actors

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Pickerington Community Theatre actors (from left) Cara Collins, Cameron Williamson, Reade Green and Colin Luther rehearse for the theater group's upcoming production of Harvey in the Pickerington Christian Church Saturday, March 8.

The hilarious story of an amiable middle-aged man, his invisible rabbit friend, Harvey, and the hijinks that ensue have delighted audiences for generations.

Pickerington Community Theatre will be performing the classic comedy, Harvey , opening March 21 in Pickerington Christian Church, 575 Diley Road in Pickerington.

Theatre President Chris Gallaugher said most everyone identifies with 1950 movie version of Harvey starring Jimmy Stewart, which was one of the reasons it was chosen as the theater group's spring production.

"We were looking for a family-friendly show that would appeal to wide audiences," Gallaugher said. "This one kind of hit all the marks for us."

He said the "gentle and innocent" story resonates with audiences of all ages.

"(Harvey) is unique in that it's got a kind of child-like quality to it," Gallaugher said.

"It's a very hopeful comedy -- and I like that," he said.

"It's about an unassuming guy who insists a six-and-a-half foot rabbit is his friend.

"Everyone thinks he's crazy, but by the end of the show you wonder who's crazy," Gallaugher said.

The lead character is Elwood P. Dowd, who introduces everyone to Harvey, much to the chagrin of his social-climbing sister Veta, who seeks to have him committed to a sanitarium.

However, years of living with Elwood causes her to believe Harvey is real too, and she's the one who gets committed.

Gallaugher said shows like Harvey always do well, both at the box office and in audience reviews.

"We've done comedy before, it's a lot of fun," he said. "Audiences tend to prefer (comedies) over dramas."

Harvey, with an adult cast of 12, is being directed by Coreen Dodds.

"She's done quite a bit for us before," Gallaugher said.

"This is the third show she's directed for us," he said.

Following Harvey, the theater group has a full slate of events on its agenda, including a children's workshop and open auditions for its major summer production, The Music Man.

"We do our next Children's Workshop on April 12 for (children) from third to sixth grade," Gallaugher said.

"Kids can get hands-on experience with various aspects of theatre, (such as) acting, improv and selecting songs to audition."

Auditions for The Music Man will occur April 25-26, with the show scheduled to run from July 11-20.

Gallaugher said he encourages any area residents who are interested to try out for the musical comedy.

"(The Music Man) is such an iconic show." he said.

"It's a show where a lot of people get to participate, and there are a lot of supporting roles with lines," he said. "There are so many great roles for all ages."

Pickerington Community Theatre's performances of Harvey will run at 8 p.m. March 21,22, 28 and 29.

Matinee shows are at 2 p.m. March 23 and 30.

Tickets for Harvey are $12 for adults, and $10 for kids and seniors.

For tickets to Harvey or for additional information about other Pickerington Community Theatre events, call 614-378-5767 or visit the PCT website at www.pickeringtoncommunitytheatre.org.